Youtube closes its original programming division

Six years after entering the original content game, Youtube is retreating.

The company will now finance programs only through its Black Voices and Kids Funds, chief business officer Robert Kyncl announced on Twitter. It will honor its commitment for already contracted shows in progress.

Susanne Daniels, global head of originals, will step down on March 1.

In his post, Kyncl cited Daniels's decision to leave and the growth of the Youtube Partner Program as reasons for winding down the unit. The Partner Program shares ad revenue with more than two million enrolled creators. More than $30 billion has been distributed to creators, artists, and media companies over the past three years.

Animation was a part - though not a big one - of Youtube Originals' slate. Shows included adult series Dallas & Robo and Paranormal Action Squad, as well as younger-skewing titles like Sherwood, Super Sema, and Growing with Lottie Dottie.

The division's closure doesn't come out of the blue. Youtube had plans to enter the SVOD market and compete against the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but later changed tack and doubled down on its ad business. By 2018, it was winding down scripted originals. Some of its shows moved to other platforms: Dallas & Robo, for instance, went to Syfy.

Youtube has invested in animation through its Kids Fund in particular, so this news doesn't necessarily spell the end of all animated originals at the company.

Read Kyncl's full statement below:

Image at top: “Dallas & Robo”